Having a baby is generally an exciting time for many families. However, if a baby suffers a birth injury, a joyous event could quickly turn into a devastating one. Whether a person’s child has suffered from minor or life-threatening complications during the childbirth process, an Albany birth injury lawyer could help recover compensation.

While a person focuses on helping their newborn recover from injuries, a skilled lawyer could file the correct paperwork to help hold the responsible parties accountable. The negligent actions of a medical professional could have lasting effects on the life of a newborn, and in some cases, their recklessness could prompt the need for around the clock care. Potential compensation may include coverage for present and future medical costs, living expenses, and pain and suffering.

Frequent Factors That May Contribute to Birth Injuries

Birth injuries can occur in several ways. Before birth, an undetected and untreated maternal infection could cause an injury. Other injuries such as folic acid deficiency, anemia, and spina bifida could also occur during pregnancy and these conditions may occur as a result of a negligent physician who failed to identify the developing issues.

During birth, a baby could be injured if the doctor incorrectly uses birth-assisting tools, such as forceps or a vacuum extractor. Additionally, doctors could harm babies by not performing emergency C-sections in a timely manner, failing to treat prolapsed umbilical cords, or pulling the baby too hard. After birth, an injury could happen if a doctor or obstetric nurse mishandles the infant, administers the wrong medication, or fails to recognize the warning signs of oxygen deprivation, infections, and other life-threatening medical conditions.

When recklessness of a licensed physician or other medical staff injures a baby, parents or a legal guardian could benefit from discussing potential legal options with an Albany birth injury lawyer.

What Are Some Common Birth Injuries?

While some birth injuries may only cause minor and temporary damage, other injuries could be long-lasting or permanent. The most common birth injuries could happen before, during, or after birth, and may include:

  • Brain injuries such as cerebral palsy (CP)
  • Skull fractures
  • Facial paralysis
  • Bruises, lacerations, and broken bones
  • Arm injuries such as brachial plexus
  • Nerve damage
  • Breathing problems
  • High blood pressure

Potential Compensation for Birth Injuries

The amount of compensation families may expect to receive varies widely. Generally, the amount is based on the actual injuries and the circumstances surrounding it. Claimants may be eligible to receive compensation for:

  • Medical expenses, including hospital stays, surgeries, and medications
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Home accommodations, such as ramps and railings
  • Counseling services
  • Special education costs
  • Pain and suffering

A skilled Albany birth injury attorney could help someone recover the damages following a childbirth injury.

How Does a Lawyer Develop a Lawsuit in Albany?

In Albany, a birth injury lawyer could initially help individuals determine the legal validity of their case. If the case is considered legally valid, the attorney could start collecting evidence, including medical records, financial documents, and witness testimony as part of the pre-litigation process.

In some cases, the hospital’s insurance company may propose a settlement amount. If the amount does not cover all the injuries and losses of the plaintiff and insurance adjusters are unwilling to negotiate, the case may need to go to trial. An Albany birth injury attorney could help prepare a case to present before a judge or jury. It should typically be noted that a settlement agreement may still be reached at any point during the litigation process.

The Process of Pursuing a Birth Injury Claim

When it comes to pursuing a birth injury lawsuit, the process starts with an investigation. This involves requesting and reviewing all of the relevant medical records, data, and reports. Evaluating these records is crucial to determining how a birth injury occurred. These records should cover not only the birth but also the entire pregnancy. This is because many birth injuries result from negligence that occurred with the child in the womb.

After the investigation is complete, the next step is to identify the defendants. In some birth injury cases, there could be multiple parties that are responsible for causing the injury. A plaintiff has the right to pursue a lawsuit against everyone that bears responsibility for a birth injury.

Once the investigation is over and the defendants are identified, attorneys frequently pursue negotiations. This typically involves negotiating with the insurance company for the negligent doctor or medical facility. In many situations, these negotiations could result in a monetary settlement.

Most birth injury claims are resolved through a settlement but that is not always the case. For various reasons, some cases are destined to go to trial. Often, a trial is necessary because the defendant refuses to take any responsibility for what happened. When settlements are not a possibility, a trial is the only outcome left. Taking a case to trial could result in a favorable verdict. With the help of an attorney, it could be possible to recover damages based on the judgment entered by the court following the trial.

The Time Limit to File a Birth Injury Lawsuit

As is the case with any civil lawsuit in Albany, there is a statute of limitations that applies to birth injury lawsuits. The statute of limitations is the legal deadline that applies to all legal actions. If a plaintiff tries to file their case after the statute of limitations expires, the defendant could file a motion for the case to be dismissed with prejudice. Barring some rare exceptions, the courts will generally dismiss these cases immediately. In Albany, the statute of limitations runs for 30 months after the date of injury.

There are additional complications regarding the statute of limitations and birth injuries. In general, the statutory period begins to expire on the date that the malpractice occurs. This is rarely an issue for most malpractice cases but it provides a challenge for birth injuries given that many acts of malpractice occur while the baby is in the womb. In some cases, a large portion of the statutory period could theoretically expire before the injured baby is ever born. Thankfully, state law recognizes that the statute for birth injury lawsuits begins to run on the day the baby is born as opposed to the date the malpractice occurs. Further, there are some exceptions to the statute of limitations that pause the statutory period for minors. It is best to speak to an attorney about the statute of limitations before assuming an exception applies in a particular case.

Contact an Albany Birth Injury Attorney

A birth injury is often a parent’s worst nightmare. When the injury is caused by a doctor’s negligence, a person may be legally entitled to financial compensation. An Albany birth injury lawyer could work tirelessly work to find compensation options to properly address a person and their family’s better interests.

Holding the responsible parties accountable could help alleviate someone’s financial burden and give an injured child increased security. Let a compassionate injury attorney assess the situation and potentially build a compelling case to present in court. While you focus on caring for your baby, an attorney could navigate the legal landscape of a medical malpractice lawsuit.